2019 Industrial

Gaziemir Lead Factory and nuclear storage

The lead factory in Gaziemir district in the town of Izmir, has been manufacturing lead bars for 70 years ever since its establishment in 1940. The industrial input was old lead accumulators and lead scrap. When the factory was relocated to a new operation field, the old industrial area in Gaziemir and the nearby warehouse remained vacant.

The factory site stretches over 7 ha, where old machines, and abandoned storage remain unattended as well as sequentially formed acid pools. In 2007, Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) detected nuclear waste buried beneath the factory’s waste storage. After conducting research on the material, TAEK identified a nuclear particle, called ‘Europium 152’ which is restricted in Turkey. Import of this material is strictly banned, while there is little likelihood that the contamination might be due to nuclear rods used in the nuclear power plants. The settlements and a primary school is located very close to the industrial area. Besides, rainwater carries waste matter to the Meles river and consequently to the Gulf of Izmir. Despite the statement of authorities that radioactive level at the site does not constitute a dangerous situation, children were earlier reported to be playing in the vicinity, as the factory was located in the midst of residential areas. In 2008, TAEK also detected high levels of radioactivity on property surrounding the storage site, demanding the area to be quarantined. The local environment directorate and some local agencies including the Gaizemir Municipality and the local health directorate ordered owners of the abandoned plant to take measures to clean up the waste. Many agencies sent notices to the plant in 2008 and 2009, yet no real measure are taken so far since the action plan is estimated to cost around $12 million. In retrospect, a circle of scientists and activists are continuing a campaign to educate the local population about the radioactive danger contaminating their living environment, after it’s been announced that the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) would buy the controversial property and start a mass housing project.

Source: Ejatlas

IMPACTS

Visible

Potential

TIMELINE

  • 4 August 2019

    Gaziemir’deki nükleer atık tehlikesi Meclis’e taşındı. CHP İzmir Milletvekili Kani Beko, İzmir’in Çernobil’i olarak anılan Gaziemir’deki eski kurşun fabrikasının bahçesindeki nükleer atık tehlikesini Meclis’e taşıdı. Çevre ve Şehircilik Bakanı’nın cevaplaması istemiyle verdiği önergede 12 yıldır bölgede bulunan ve kaldırılmayan nükleer atıkların son durumunu sordu.

    Gaziemir’deki nükleer atık tehlikesi Meclis’e taşındı
  • 1 June 2018

    İzmir'deki nükleer atık davası AYM'ye taşındı. İzmir Gaziemir’de, kurşun döküm sahasına nükleer atık bırakan şirket cezasız kaldı. “Zamanaşımı” gerekçesiyle Yargıtay’dan çıkan karar üzerine çevreciler Anayasa Mahkemesi’ne başvurdu. “Yasadışı nükleer atık ticaretini” de içeren olaya ilişkin dilekçede “Zamanaşımından davanın düşürülmesi kararıyla sağlıklı çevrede yaşama hakkı ihlal edilmiştir” denildi.

    İzmir'deki nükleer atık davası AYM'ye taşındı